Taste from Art
Vincenzo Luongo Selected Works
看著高更的生平，令她想起了一個朋友Vincenzo Luong（龍雲生）。Vincenzo是意大利人，生於拿玻里，在上世紀九十年代曾在紐約一間著名意大利餐廳當廚師，日子過得挺愜意的。 因緣際會，十年前，他來到澳門，並開了家餐廳，由於語言不通、再加上他性格比較火爆，很多事情都不如意，他每天徘徊在憂慮和焦躁之間，與別人大大小小的爭執成為他日常生活的一部分。
The Courage to Be Yourself
Well, this was a very sunny afternoon in the early spring. So, after taking care of her blooming orchids in the balcony, this lady sat on a wine-red velvet sofa and took a sip of warm rose hawthorn tea. And then, she took some painting albums from her bookshelf while holding her beloved Per-sian cat in her hand. For those master artists who became famous and idolised after death, she has been long familiar with their life stories, but in this spring break when everyone needed to stay home, she decided to review them all again.
The images of classic artworks printed on soft glossy papers, with unique art critics and vivid descriptions by historians who wrote as if they were there, allow her to learn someone from different eras and locations, and figure out: why did Paul Gauguin not choose to be a Sunday painter but ventured himself to be a full-time artist?
Gauguin's life story reminded her of Vincenzo Luongo, a friend of hers who came from Italy. Born in Napoli, Vincenzo lived a pleasant life as a chef in a famous Italian restaurant in New York in the 1990s. Because of fate, he came to Macao ten years ago and opened a restaurant here. Due to the language barrier and his aggressive personality, he found himself in an unsatisfactory situation for many things happened around him and he felt depressed and anxious most of the time. Disputes with people he knew became part of his daily life.
The art space she works in is close to Vincenzo's restaurant and she could not get used to seeing him auguring with someone every day. So, she gave him a box of colour pens and told him to paint when he had time. Out of expectation, this helped him to explore his unique painting talent and he found himself full of inspiration to paint. Although he has never received any professional education and training from an art school, Vincenzo is extremely sensitive to colour, lines and composition, and he creates a lot of art styles. By then, his whole living place became quite.
Vincenzo indulged himself in the ecstasy of painting. Anything could turn into his creation materials, such as sandpapers, old books, discarded records, and even his baked bread. Soon enough, the walls of his restaurant were full of his own works. In order to refine the expression skills in painting, he would go to bookstore and purchase art books for practice in every holiday.
Later, Vincenzo left Macao and he had been to many countries and regions for work. But reality had been harsh for him. Whenever she received updates from Vincenzo, she was told that his situation was getting worse each time he moved to a new place. And yet, before every of their conversations come to an end, Vincenzo would always share with her the joyful experience in his art journey.
‘You can only make progress by drawing freely and madly. Do not be restrained from what you have acquired, but allow yourself to release your emotions at any moments, let your dream fly and show it in the simplest form.’ This is the sharing of Gauguin of how to create. She wondered whether or not Vincenzo had seen Gauguin’s work. But there are so many similarities in their lives and creation patterns. No matter how hard his life would be, Vincenzo was still determined to create each day.
Having stayed in her comfort zone for that long, she would probably not be able to fully understand how much courage it had taken for him to continue in such a disadvantaging circumstance. I hereby take this opportunity to say: may the life story of Vincenzo Luongo could be remembered in art history one day and his bad temper could be romanticized as the character of an artist. The hardships he took over the decade might be part of his way to grow and could be taken as example for younger generations to reach their dreams.
Born in Naples, Italy in 1962, he lived in New York, USA from 1991 to 2001. He began painting in 2007 and developed a distinctive and versatile style of painting in a short period of time. Vincenzo had lived in New York, one of the best cities in the world for modern art, for ten years, during which he got many chances to visit high-end galleries. However, at that time, he would think that those visits were boring and a total waste of time. And yet during his time in Macao, he met someone who give him a box of ordinary colour pens that encouraged him to embark on a new journey of art. In the last decade, he met many adversities and suffering in life but he overcame them with his determination to paint. His seemingly inexhaustible well of creativity often has guided him through the darkness of life. When you look at his work, you would not only appreciate his extraordinary talent in art, but also his devotion and love for arts from the very beginning.
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